tv The Situation Room CNN March 8, 2013 1:00pm-4:00pm PST
parent, i realized, a lot of these children decide it's not worth wishing anymore because it isn't going to happen. people have made promises to them that they haven't kept. >> do you want to check any of the babies? >> sure. >> everything is brand new. >> i thought, how do we give them the feeling that people are out there that care about you even if you've never met them? my name is danielle gletow and i've helped wishes come true for foster children. anybody anywhere can look at hundreds of wishes for children in foster care. working on auditioning a play, he needs a radio to audition with his cd. wishes are as unique as the children who make them, and so personal. isn't that beautiful? >> yes. >> these small things make an enormous difference in the life of a child. it's really just a kid being a kid. >> my wish was for a suit so that i could attend a family member's funeral. it meant a lot that someone took
the time and they knew that that was important. >> this looks awesome. >> when a child's wish is granted, we are reassuring them that their voices are being heard. >> i love you. >> that there is this big world out there that wants to wrap their arms around them and protect them and we need to all step up and do that. >> danielle's group has already granted more than 4,000 wishes to kids in 35 different states. you can learn more about your program or nominate someone who you think deserves to be recognized. go to cnnheroes.com. take a look at the big board. the market is responding to the big jobs move. 236,000 jobs created. our unemployment rate down to 7.7%. we have not seen that 7.7% since 2008. so great news. there we go. closing bell.
the market is going gangbusters for four straight days. i'm brooke baldwin. hope you have a wonderful weekend. let's go to washington. wolf blitzer takes over from here. all right, brooke. thanks very much. we're following up on the good economic news. stock prices hitting new highs. wall street cheering the lowest unemployment rate of the obama's presidency. osama bin laden's son-in-law faces charges in a new york city courtroom near ground zero. critics say there's a et abouter way to bring him to justice. and justin bieber's on-stage health scare. an ending to a bad week. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
wall street just closed another record-setting day with the dow jones industrials hitting a new all-time high. this after the release of the february jobs numbers that were much better than so many of the analysts expected. america's unemployment rate fell to 7.7%. that's the lowest level since december 2008, the month before president obama took office. the u.s. economy added 236,000 jobs last month. that's almost double the new hires in january. alison kosik is at the new york stock exchange. >> the markets are happy about it. the dow, wolf, continues to make history. the strong jobs report fueling the dow. today's close marks the fourth straight all-time high this week. these bulls, they just keep on running. look at the dow. it's now 200 points above the initial high we were watching for these weeks before.
the mood here has definitely changed as the weeks have gone on. many more bears came out at the beginning of the week than the end of the week. they are still harder to find, those bears, but they are still out there. one trader telling me he expects stocks to pull back anywhere between 10 and 15% by the summer. but, yes, plenty of time for that to happen. at least for now the path of least resistance is upward and it was a strong jobs report that kept the rally going. you look at the report that was broke down. professional and business services, that sector led the businesses and health and leisure made strong gains in february. construction added 48,000 jobs and those gains in construction are especially notable because construction had accounted for a huge chunk of job losses during the recession. now it being looks like construction is a comeback. that's good news with one analyst saying as long as the housing market continues to recover, it should lead to a heavier labor market.
wolf? >> good way to end the week on wall street and in terms of jobs. think about it. 236,000 people got a job last month. they are very, very happy that they are working right now. alison, thanks very much. now to the white house and the reaction to the latest jobs numbers. will it help the president much in the days and weeks ahead? our national political correspondent jim acosta is joining us from the white house right now. what's going on over there, jim? >> reporter: well, officials here at the white house certainly have a spring in their step but they are well aware that there are plenty of obstacles that still exist that might trip up this recovery. after the latest jobs report found the nation's unemployment rate had dipped to levels not seen before president obama took office, the white house wanted to know one thing. where were all of the questions about the good news? >> i suspect if the jobs news had been different it would take less than four people to ask me about them.
>> reporter: but the obama administration warns, do not get too excited. this does not account for the automatic budget cuts that just took effect. >> it's going to have a negative impact on job creation. >> reporter: which makes president obama's latest outreach to republicans all the more important, a charm offensive which coincides with a dinner that the clintons had with the president a week ago. >> former president clinton mention that as his advice to the current president? that perhaps an outreach might be a good thing? >> well, i can't con firp the dinner for you. they enjoyed the meal and the conversation. in terms of the president's bipartisan outreach to rank and file in congress, that's something that started before that dinner. >> but more budget drama could be ohhen the horizon. marco rubio told a radio host he may not sign on to the latest temporary spending bill keeping the congress running. >> about a year and a half ago i voted for the first continuing
resolution, the last stop-gap measure that i'm going to vote for. i'm only going to vote from here on on something serious. >> asked whether he might filibuster, they said, we're reviewing our legislative options. back at the white house where officials say the automatic cuts are forcing them to cancel all public tours starting this weekend, visitors are he is los their patience. >> it's supposed to be government for the people. by taking away the tours, they are not letting them see the government. >> reporter: white house will only offer vague details about where it is cutting its own budget. >> pay cuts, furloughs, other things. >> in the west we think as well? >> in the west wing as well. >> reporter: the white house is con ukt diddi conducting some of its business in secret, arranging from israel to energy policy, meetings that officials here at the white house won't talk about until well after they are happening here and it is just another indication that this obama
administration in the second term is evolving but it's doing so cautiously and quietly. >> as for the tours at the white house, no change yet at least as far as the white house is concerned? >> reporter: not yet. they stop tomorrow, wolf. >> jim acosta at the white house, thanks very much. in a new york city courtroom today, a not guilty plea from osama ben laden's son in law who made ominous threats on behalf of al qaeda in the days after 9/11. listen to this. >> translator: advise them not to fly in planes or live in high towers. the storm of manies will not stop there are us thousands of young muslims who desire in the path of. >> susan candiotti was in new york and there at the event today. so what's the reaction? a the lot of people are
criticizing president obama for bringing him to new york as opposed to guantanamo bay. >> reporter: it hasn't stopped in the least. you know, wolf, all of those video messages spewing hatred against americans, dire warnings to americans after 9/11, well, that's hard to forget and in fact those video messages are what brought sulaiman abu gaith to america himself, inside a courtroom. sulaiman abu gaith looked and acted much differently than the al qaeda spokesman so often seen next to his father-in-law, osama bin laden. in new york federal court, he looked older, balding. his dark beard now gray. he said yes when asked if he understood the charges and left it to his lawyer to enter his plea, not guilty. but behind the scenes, abu gaith is talking to investigators. prosecutors dropping a bombshell, revealing he made a
22-page statement after his arrest, possibly powerful evidence. >> prosecute are tos always want statements from a defendant so the fact that he gave such an extensive one has the potential to be extremely incriminating at a trial. >> reporter: what did he tell investigators? they aren't saying. he was arrested overseas february 28th and flown to the u.s. from jordan march 1st, a full week before his arraignment. abu gaith has mostly been under house arrest since 2002 and likely not involved in operations. bin laden himself bragged on tape that the 9/11 operations were so secret that he didn't know about them. >> he said we didn't clue him in. surely a defense lawyer will be using that in the future case. >> reporter: despite ongoing criticism from republicans that abu ghaith should be tried
before a military tribunal in guantanamo, the administration stands by its decision. >> this is somebody who is going to be held accountable for his crimes and that will be done in accordance with the laws and values of this country. >> reporter: some 9/11 families say they are glad someone so prominent in al qaeda is being prosecuted. >> let's get these trials in going in new york city, all of the people affected that day can go see the trials and that's where they should be, in new york city. >> reporter: and that's where abu ghaith's trial is, about a mile away from ground zero, where jim rich's sons and so many others lost their lives. wolf? >> a major, major development in new york. that's going to go on for months and months and months, the legal proceedings. thanks very much, susan, for that report. should bin laden's son-in-law have been sent to the facility in guantanamo bay, cuba, instead
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biz sdplar scene from north korea tv. this coming at the end of a week of new threats from the communist regime. we're learning more about north korea's defiance. also learning more about its arsenal of weapons. let's bring in our pentagon cropped barbara starr. what are you learning, barbara? >> we have seen this ominous rhetoric from north korea before. the question now, what happens if this rhetoric turns into an outright military threat? almost hysterical north korean
troops greeted their leader kim jong-un during his made for tv inspection tour of military border facilities. kim wants the world to see this as he has dramatically stepped up his dangerous rhetoric. he's even threatening a nuclear threat as he faces tough u.n. sanctions for the nuclear test. the obama administration isn't backing down. >> we're also going to continue to increase the pressure if they don't make the right choice. >> reporter: on his way to afghanistan, defense secretary chuck hagel made clear how closely the u.s. was watching. >> the united states of america and our allies are prepared to deal with any threat. >> cnn has learned the u.s. has recently stepped up surveillance using aircraft, radars, and satellites already nearby. military officials say so far there are no signs of unusual military moves by the north. but there is a disturbing new
weapons program, the kn-08. u.s. officials say this missile, shown in a north korea military parade last year, is now undergoing engine testing. it's a three-stage ballistic missile with a potential 3,000 mile range. that's not as far as the rocket north korea recently launched which could hit alaska or hawaii. but what makes this so dangerous to the us, the north koreans can drive the kn-08 around on a truck launcher. >> they would have a bunch of these in an underground bunker, in a garage, and possibly under the cover of darkness, they would all leave the garage and start driving around at random and within a few hours you could really have a hard time figuring out where they had gone off to. >> now, the u.s. believes that the recent satellite launch in north korea actually helped to test some of the kn-08 components and at that very launch pad, wolf, there are now
new signs, according to classified u.s. imagery, more people, electronic equipment. the north koreans possibly getting ready for yet another missile test. >> any indication, barbara, that those nearly 30,000 u.s. troops along the demilitarized zone separating north and south korea, their security status has been elevated as a result of this enormous tension right now on the korean peninsula? >> well, what a senior defense official tells us is the troops are certainly aware of it, have basically been told heightened awareness, heightened watchfulness, but they are always at a very high state of readiness to react because the belief is, if a provocation were to come, it would come very quickly, wolf. >> nearly a million north korean troops north of the dmz, nearly a million south korean troops south of the dmz.
30,000 soldiers in between. a very, very tense situation. more coming up later. barbara, thank you. chuck hagel took his first overseas trip today as the united states secretary of defense. lisa sylvester is here. lisa, it was a surprise trip, no advance announcement? >> that's right, wolf. chuck hagel is actually in afghanistan. the vietnam veteran is thanking troops for their service and he is meeting with afghan president karzai. he wants to better understand what is going on in america's longest war. it's now in its 11th year. the u.s. will remain commitment commitmented to afghanistan. a blizzard has dumped a foot of snow in new england. it's also brought high wind and waves that tore this house right off of its foundation. from new england to the north, it's expected to turn to rain as
temperatures continue to rise throughout the day before finally clearing out by tomorrow. and gabrielle giffords is this year's recipient of the john f. kennedy profile in courage award. this will be presented on may 5th. kennedy says giffords has inspired the world with her bravery and dedication to making change through the political process. giffords, of course, was shot in the head in january of 2011 and since then she has called for tighter gun control laws. and yes, there are wedding bells ringing for michael jordan and his fiance model. the nba legend just turned 50 and he has applied for a marriage license in palm beach, florida. wedding date is april 7th. this will be his second marriage. he's won six championships and is now the majority owner of the nba's charlotte bobcats.
50 years old. nba legend. >> congratulations to both of them. >> lisa, thank you into we now know when the catholic cardinals will pick a new pope. we're going live to roem when we come back. when the catholic carl pick a new pope. we're going live to roem when we come back. this is sabra hummus, a guide to good dipping. carrots...yes. chicken wings...uh ha, sure. chips...craveable. celery...this is fun. okay i love it, i love it.
prepare for this historic conclave? >> reporter: well, in addition, wolf, to getting the seats ready and tables set out in the existing chapel, they will be implementing a series of fairly sophisticated electronic countermeasures to make sure that nobody, a, can listen to what's going on inside the chapel and santa martha residents where the cardinals will be staying and just in case some of those cardinals brought in their blackberries and cell phones, they won't be able to communicate with the outside world. there's going to be these electronic jamming devices and in the residents they will be staying in, the santa martha residents, they won't have any access to landlines, newspapers, the radio, television, internet. so they will effectively be completely closed off from the world during the course of the conclave. wolf? >> ben, what are the cardinals
going to be doing before the conclave? >> well, one interesting thing they'll be doing is sunday some of them will be involved in a soccer match here in rome. that's a tradition that's been going on. in addition to that, there will be more meetings tomorrow morning of the general congregation. on sunday, the various cardinals will be attending mass, holding mass in their churches around rome. so it's going to be a busy weekend and a busy start of the week before the conclave actually begins on tuesday afternoon. wolf? >> ben wedeman on the scene for us. you're going to be busy over these next several days. thank you. a massive state funeral for the venezuelan president hugo ch chavez. we're live from caracas. the reverend jesse jackson in
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son-in-law appeared in a courthouse in new york city, he was only blocks away from the 9/11 attacks. sulaiman abu ghaith pleaded not guilty against charges that he conspired against americans. some republicans are questioning the obama administration's decision to try him in a civilian court in new york. joining us now, our cnn national security analysts peter bergen and senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. first of all, what do we know about sulaiman abu ghaith? >> well, the indictment is very spare. he's described as the spokesman and one of the things that the government is going to have to do is show that he actually advanced a conspiracy to kill americans, didn't just advocate, didn't just give rhetorical support. the current charges against him are pretty minimal on that score, although the government
certainly will have many months to fill out the case against him. >> peter, he was the one who appeared on all those videos in september of 2001, october 2001, warning the west, warning muslims, stay away from the united states, stay away from the high-rise buildings, don't get on planes, we're coming after you. at that time he was selected by bin laden, i assume, to be the spokesman? >> yeah. he married bin laden's daughter. i second what jeff said. the indictment against this guy is incredibly thin and that's not surprising because having followed him on and off over the next decade and so, this was a guy who popped up in the propaganda videotapes, wolf, and then basically disappeared. he was living under house arrest in iran basically on ice not able to do anything. he was not clued in to the 9/11 attacks before they happened, according to an al qaeda videotape before that was
discovered after the fall of the taliban in afghanistan. he's sort of a nonentity. i think one of the reasons he's gone to new york is conspiracy is not necessarily a war crime, the type that would be tried in guantanamo, and courts in new york have 100% conviction rates. so on these kind of terrorism charges, whereas a trial in guantanamo is a very uncertain, convictions overturned, maybe 1% of the people there have been suck s successfully convicted. >> listen to senator lindsey graham. he himself is an attorney. he's very much opposed to the decision to send him to new york. he thought this was an enemy combatant who belonged in guantanamo bay before a military tribunal. listen to senator graham. >> to the administration, why did you not send this person to guantanamo bay to be held as an enemy combatant for
intelligence-gathering purposes? i have been firm against torture but i do believe that guantanamo bay is a secure military facility that provides this country a great asset and we've received a lot of information from guantanamo bay detainees. >> as you remember, the uproar a few years ago when they were thinking of sending sheikh mohammed to be tried before a civil court in new york. that eventually was reversed. what do you think about the pros and cons legally speaking? >> well, it is true that there is a major difference between the two in terms of interrogation. in a criminal court where he is now, he will receive a lawyer who will undoubted he will say, stop talking to prosecutors. don't say anything. in guantanamo, there would be more flexibility to interrogate him. but the difference between the two is that the federal government has been very
successful in getting convictions and life sentences in these cases brought in manhattan and guantanamo has been a legal marass. so if you want to see this guy locked up securely for life, new york is a better chance than cuba. >> the other argument against sending him to new york, peter, the notion that once there's a trial, let's say he pleads not guilty, there's going to be a long trial. he can call witnesses, his attorneys will call witnesses. this could become a propaganda bonanza for al qaeda against the united states? >> well, a lot of people have been put on trial in new york and it's a red he are. ring that is trouted out, fairly routinely and it's never been the case that somehow this turns into a propaganda coo for al
qaeda and when they get put into florence, colorado, they are going to be turned into martyrs. none of that ever happens. in the next hour, mayor rudy giuliani will join us. an undercover tsa inspector hides a bomb on his body. you're going to find out if he got it past tsa screeners at a major airport with a metal detector and a pat-down. çoçñ twins. i didn't see them coming.
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leaders around cuba, a dozen other nations were at the emoti emotional state funeral for hugo chavez. we got a look at the funeral from reverend jesse jackson. he delivered a prayer at the ceremony. and the reverend jesse jackson is joining us live from caracas. he attended the memorial there in caracas. i know that you were one of the speakers. in a nutshell, what was your message? >> i hope president obama and mr. mcaduro will find a way to communicate early. the venezuelans are in our hemisphere. venezuela, mexico, and brazil. more oil reserves than the
middle east. middle east is four weeks away. this is four days away. and plus we need them as our ally in the drug trafficking war. >> what do you say to the venezuelans not only in the opposition but those that have fled the country who considered hugo chavez a vial dictator? >> well, you know, democracy is -- our first 15 presidents owned people. they owned slaves. there's a speech given by what i think will be the new leader, at least for a while, and having ee ex wills on time, open, free fair elections. it's growing throughout the hemisphere and we encourage it by direct contact. we're not thinking about we're losing more lives in drug
trafficking than al qaeda. >> i just want to be precise and want to make sure that i'm not hearing you correctly. are you really comparing hugo chavez to george washington, thomas jefferson, james madison? that's what i was hearing. but i want you to explain. >> well, democracy has evolved. my point is that our first 15 presidents owned slaves and called it democracy for 204 years. we've come a mighty long way. the democracy in south africa is just, what, 25 years old or thereabouts. i was just there eight years ago, white people couldn't vote, couldn't vote on campuses, democracy has evolved and if we're engaged, we can help it evolve in the right direction. >> what about some of the others who attended? were you comfortable that
ahmadinejad, for example, of iran was there. i know bashar al assad of syria was not there. i know he would have liked to have been there. raul castro. how does that make you feel? >> when we goen oh the offensive, we make things happen. i remember getting americans freed, i went to syria with a delegation and president reagan said, you shouldn't go. do you foe what you're doing? you might jeopardize a soldier's life. president reagan said, if you get him, bring him back to the white house. we brought him back to the white house. president reagan said to me, reverend, what can we do for you? i said, call assad and say thank you. he did so. they never stopped talking. 15 layers of gloobleygloop. >> when you meet with officials
from the obama white house, what will be main your main message to them? >> the cement is wet. there's reformation taking place here. chavez is gone. there will be an election fairly soon. it will probably be transparent, an open election pretty soon. in the meantime, the democracy that is evolving, you also have the tremendous trade opportunities for this market. i think about the time that -- the amount of money that we spent in the middle east, oil, security, more oil in the hemisphere four weeks away as opposed to four days away. the drug trafficking, if you get vnz and colombia in the good orbit and mexico, you save many american life. >> reverend jackson, safe travels back home. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, sir. up next, an undercover tsa
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there are now reports of an alarming security breach at liberty national airport. an undercover agent got past tsa screeners with a fake bomb stuffed inside his clothes. mary snow has the details. mary, what happened? >> as a result of this report, congressman peter king is demanding a top to bottom security review of all operations at the airport. he wrote to the tsa administrator today after a
reported security lapse on february 25th. the test at newark airport was to see if a fake improvised explosive device would get past screeners. according to the new york post, it did. an undercover tsa went mock and due to the security sensitive nature of the tests, tsa does not publicly share details about how they are conducted, what specifically is tested, or the outcomes. the tsa says it regularly conducts covert testing and this is what it looks like. >> slip the inert detonator in. >> cnn went along with undercover tsa officers called red teams. the inspector had a fake ied on him when he went through security at tampa international airport.
a screener failed to detect the device and the undercover inspector inspect inspector ininstructed him on what he did wrong. one aviation security analyst says some mistakes will be expected. >> in order to improve the program and to increase the level of alert and the professionalism of the people that implement it. >> just this he can wouweek, th the tsa. >> the greatest risk is ieds, whether it's an exclusive, electronic initiator, whatever that may be, that's what i want our security officers to focus on. >> while the tsa would not address newark airport, the
airport has had problems in recent years. a man named rchl omeo slipped past security to meet a woman. former tsa administrator kip holly says it's unclear why newark continues to make headlines. >> i don't understand why it should be. they have had a lot of problems at newark which is why they are testing it. >> kip hawley said breaches make headlines, they need to keep their eye on the real threat in these drills. >> it's a very important job for these agents out there and we wish them obviously the best. thanks very much for that report. a bizarre rift within the republican party. senator john mccain calling some of his republican colleagues -- and i'm quoting now, wacko
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. in just a few minutes we're all going to experience an extraordinary moment in the history of the united states military. the remains of sale are los being laid to rest at arlington national cemetery 150 years later. our barbara starr has the details of how the sailors were identified. >> shoes worn by a sailor 150 years ago, perhaps in the final
moments of his life on board the "uss monitor" a renowned civil war battleship. this is extraordinary. we are looking mismatched but a pair of shoes that one of the sailors wore. >> he had a different shoe on his left foot than his right. it's hard to explain why that is. one of the possible options is as they were leaving the ship, it was chaotic and dark. >> the shoes, just one clue in a detective story that started 240 feet below the surface of the sea. who were the two men whose skeletons were found in the ship in 2002? the navy is about to bury them at arlington national cemetery not knowing the answer. this is the 120-ton tour receipt of the "uss monitor." it's sitting in this preservation tank. this is the precise spot that they found the two navy sailors.
>> more clues, button from a uniform, a gold ring, a comb, some coins. the "monitor" made history as the first iron clad shipment caught in a storm december 30th off cape hatteras, north carolina, it flip over and sank. 16 sailors were lost. captain bobby skully led them to the wreckage. >> we feed to take the steps necessary to recover those sailors with all of the honors and dignities. >> dna samples were taken, facial reconstructions were made. african-american sailors and officers were eliminated. the remains were caucus. the buttons, not from officers' coats. the list is now down to five or six men. two possibilities, robert williams and william brian. back at the water's edge in virginia where the "monitor"
battled the confederacy, it's more than just history. >> whether it was 150 years ago or two weeks ago in afghanistan, the nation's commitment to bringing our fallen home, laying them to rest and returning them to families stays as strong today as it ever was. >> that report from our barbara starr. you're looking at live pictures now from arlington national that cemetery in washington. once the burial cemetery begins, we're going to go there. stand by for that. other news, including a scare on stage for pop superstar justin bieber. he got short of breath last night. his image and health may be suffering after years of a wildly popular teen heart throb. erin mclaughlin has more from london. >> reporter: boos for justin bieber. it's been a tough week for the
teenage pop star. appearing in london for a series of sold-out shows, he was nearly two hours late to the stage on monday. his fans, better known as beliebers and their parents not happy. >> i wanted to get home and sleep because i had school tomorrow. >> i'm totally and utter le disgusted. we are all fans and now we hate him. >> reporter: the singer took to twitter saying that he was only 40 minutes late and said, quote, there's no excuse for that and i apologize for anyone we upset. then, a real show-stopper during thursday's concert after bieber appeared whoozy. he went backstage after getting very light of breath. to the delight of the fans, he went back on stage. >> he said, i can't breathe. i can't breathe. everyone was cheering him on. everyone wanted him to come back on stage. >> reporter: after the concert,
the singer was taken to the hospital and released early friday. later, he thanksed his fans online, getting better, thanks for everyone pulling me through tonight. figuring out what happened. thanks for the love. then, friday morning, a photo flap as bieber was caught on video losing his temper with the paparazzi while rushing to a waiting suv, the singer apparently shoves a photographer. the toing to gra officer retaliates with a and he had to be secured by his own security team and then got back in the vehicle and drove away. bieber, who turned 19 a week ago, is expected to go ahead with this evening's show. >> that report from erin mclaughlin on the scene in london. we certainly hope that justin bieber is okay. he's been a remarkable, remarkable performer. he's got many years of
performing ahead of him. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, osama bin laden's son-in-law turning up in a new york city courtroom now far from ground zero. but why new york instead of guantanamo bay? a controversy is already raging. i'll speak to the former new york city mayor rudy giuliani. he's got strong views. a surge in the jobs. will ta help president obama deal with republicans as he deals with the deficit. and john mccain calls other republicans wacko birds. will it hurt the gop? i'll ask newt beginning relationship. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
a striking new development in the war against terrorism today. a son-in-law of osama bin laden appearing in a federal court in manhattan not far from where al qaeda brought down the world trade center towers. sulaiman abu ghaith pleaded not guilty. he was captured abroad recently and the decision to take him to new york city instead of guantanamo bay in cuba has become a hot legal and political issue. let's bring in our crime and justice correspondent joe johns. there's been a lot of buzz and controversy. >> that's right, wolf. he's al qaeda to the core but the symbolism of the arrest is important for a lot of reasons. it shows the u.s. is not giving up going after terrorists but it also shows the resolve of the
obama administration to try defendants like this in civilian courts. suleman abu ghaith's lawyer pleaded not guilty on his client's behalf to the federal charge of conspireing to kill americans. osama bin laden's son-in-law and al qaeda spokesman had a few short answers to questions asked by the judge. though prosecutor said that he already gave a 22-page statement not made public. talking is what got him notice in the first place, including on this video in which osama bin laden and him talk about the success of the plot. the indictment said ghaith warned americans that a great army is gathering against you. the storm shall not stop, especially the airplane storm. he went on to say, muslims and children and opponents of the united states should not board airplanes or high rises. tried in military commissions as
opposed to civilian courts, the administration says it's case by case but prefers the courts. >> there's a previous strong track record in handling these kinds of trials. >> critics question whether reading a terror suspect his rights gets in the way of interrogating him. >> we certainly don't want him to come to america before he has been fully interrogated to make sure that we know everything that he knows about al qaeda and let him hear the words, you have the right to remain silent. >> recent cases suggest there's a way to do it even if the military isn't involved. >> just because you're in an american courtroom doesn't mean that interrogation is off limits. you just have to follow certain rules and prosecutors and agents know how to do this. >> this debate hit its peak when the administration announced and later abandoned plans to bring khalid sheikh mohammed to new york for a trial. civilian court since 9/11, guilty pleas and verdicts have
been entered against the underwear bomber who tried to blow up a plane on christmas day 2009 and za care yous ma saw wee who pleaded guilty. civilian courts have convicted 67 terror suspects caught overseas. while military commissions have convicted only seven. >> these cases are not some gift to the defendant. they are actually the best way we have so far of keeping them in prison for the rest of their lives. >> the other issue that gets raised when you talk about terror trials is the each of security. so far the facts speak for themselves. federal courts are accustomed to organize crime figures, drug dealers, and alleged drug dealers and so far they have a pretty good record of keeping it safe. wolf? >> lots of discussion about this. joe johns, thanks very much.
rudy giuliani was of course the mayor of new york on 9/11 and became a symbol after the al qaeda attacks but does not necessarily believe new york is the place to try these terror suspects. mayor rudy giuliani is joining us on the phone. what's your reaction, mayor, to bring abu ghaith to new york? >> i'm very surprised by it after the prior decision and all the controversy, all the issues about how much money it would cost new york to provide the additional security but i'm mostly concerned because al qaeda would be that you tried it as a war crime rather than a civilian crime because after all, they declared war on the united states back in 1998, 1999. we tried the first attack on the world trade center in 1993. we just had the 20th anniversary of it. they were tried in civil court. the african bombers were tried
in that same court. in fact, they were -- some of them were going to be tried there around the time of the september 11th attack took place. so i don't get this. i understand the complexities of making a distinction between, is it a war crime, a crime carried out by a militant carrying on a war or a civilian attempted murder or whatever. and sometimes it's a close case. but this isn't. this is leak like saying in the middle of the war we caught a nazi. >> not only prosecuting these guys in knew, ynew york, all of people you mentioned are serving life. this guy could potentially face life in prison. >> in a civilian prison which is a major issue of security for
that prison. >> even if he goes to a maximum security prison out in the midwest someplace? >> that takes an enormous amount of security. when they did the african bombing trial, i had to close off areas of the city. i had to supply another 4, 500 police officers that couldn't be engaged in reducing crime. it makes no sense to me. the reality is that the record is good in military court. they've tried very few in military court. also, should they get acquitted, in a civilian court, what the hell would you do with them? >> you're a lawyer. what would happen? >> they go free. >> given the evidence that they have, the videotapes of what they were saying on 9/11, the days after 9/11, it's unlikely he would be acquitted but what would happen if he were acquitted? >> he would be freed. >> freed and what?
>> actually, you know what would happen if he got acquitted? >> yeah. >> i think they would arrest him and try him in a military court. >> probably at a minimum, i'm just guessing right now, they would deport him to a country where he would probably be a lot worst off than in the united states. >> or deport him to a country in which he undertakes terrorist activities against the united states and some of the people who have left guantanamo have undertaken activities to kill american people and have killed soldiers. >> why do you think michael bloomberg, ray kelly, apparently they were consulted before this decision was made and they seem to be okay with it. >> they have the right to their opinion. my opinion is that there's no need for this. this is a needless situation. and logically it makes no sense. this is an organization that declared war on the united states. al qaeda specifically declared war on us and if they declared war on us, we can take them at their word that they are at war.
they succeeded all too often. when we catch one of these people, it's far better to say we're treating this as a war, not just another criminal act. this is not just another murder or set of murders. >> mayor rudy giuliani, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> much more in our next hour. the harvard law professor and victoria, they have very, very strong views, very different views. that debate coming up in our next hour. the other big news today, jobs. here in the united states, the latest numbers out today show a recent jump in hiring in the unemployment rate that fell to 7.7%. that, of course, is for the period before the forced spending cuts but it is the lowest jobless rate since 2008. christine romans puts it all together for us. >> wolf, let's look inside the numbers. for the 36 months in the row, the private sector adding jobs,
246,000 jobs out of the private sector. when you look at government jobs, you lost 10,000 there. many of that is state and local jobs because of states cutting their budgets and many of those are school-related jobs. you could feel that. take a look at where they are adding jobs in the private sector. construction jobs, 48,000. most likely related to retail jobs. and some of that is tax preparation time but office jobs being added. 14,000 manufacturing jobs and health care always a bright spot with 32,000 jobs created. i want to look quickly at this number that you hear of people critical of the job advance. they say, i don't feel this. i see record highs in stocks and jobless rate falling to 7.7% but i don't feel it. this is the number that is the i don't feel it number. 14.3%. that's the underemployment rate, wolf. these are people who are
unemployed, working part time would love to work full time. that, wolf, is something to continue to work on. wolf? >> christine romans, good point. thank you. the job news comes as president obama has been reaching out aggressively to republicans on these spending and other issues. he dined with republican lawmakers. more talks up on capitol hill are scheduled this coming week. let's bring in our chief political analyst gloria borger. the job numbers are pretty good right now. will it necessarily help the president in his negotiations with the gop? >> well, it helps him because politically he can say that things are et going better but as you said, republicans said not so fast because they believe the percentage of people participating in the workforce has dropped and that could mean, of course, that people have just given up looking for jobs and as these forced budget cuts take effect, there are some estimates that say that it could cost
about 700,000 jobs. that could seriously contract the economy. so as they have these budget talks, talks of a big deal, grand bargain, there are still really big bumps along the road. >> it's going to take a while if they get there. this charm offensive by the president, we're getting new nuggets, details on a bailey basis right now. what's behind this? >> well, as you know, wolf, this is a president who seemed perfectly content with living the political equivalent of house arrest. very happy to have dinner at home with his wife and kids, not out dining with republicans, socializing with members of congress. didn't want to do it and now suddenly he's kind of party animal, as you pointed out earlier. in talking to lots of democrats today, some of whom have spoken directly with the president, wolf, i would have to say the overall feeling is that he didn't have a lot of options left. the sequester, the forced budget cuts didn't go well. they went into effect.
he's facing questions about government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling and these people, which include former chiefs of staff, former democratic members of congress, have all said to the president, you know what, we know you don't love doing this but try it. you'll like it more than you think you will and one of them told me that he was told that he had told his staff that he actually -- the president said, i enjoyed the dinner the other night with republicans. so you're going to be seeing him doing a lot more of this because in the end, wolf, he has nothing to lose by doing it because he can say, i tried. >> he certainly can. next week the president is going to go up to capitol hill. they won't come to the white house. he's going up to capitol hill. >> on their turf. >> he's going to meet separately with the democrats and then meet with the republicans. what's his ultimate goal right now? >> i've been told that the president believes that this is a moment, particularly this summer, when he believed he can
try and get some kind of a larger budget deal, call it the grand bargain, if you will. he's got a lot of other things on his plate, wolf, that he'd like to do. he doesn't want to poison the well any more than it has been poisoned with congress. what he was staring at was polarization. he's trying to figure out a way to deal with these budget items because in a perfect world i think he would like to have some kind of a big budget deal over the summer. he believes that's the big moment of opportunity. the question of whether all of this chatting is going to produce anything remains to be seen. just a couple of weeks ago people in the white house were telling me it's a big myth that if you sit around the table and talk you're going to get something. but again, at least the president can say, i tried. >> certainly can. and as senator bob corker said here in "the situation room" yesterday, they do have this informal goal by the end of
july, early august when the debt ceiling has to be raised. >> that's right. >> that's what they are looking for. hopefully they will get some sort of grand bargain. >> don't plan your summer vacation, wolf. >> let's hope they have a deal. thanks very much. up next, the spending cuts could soon force the closing of some air traffic control towers all across the united states, including one near camp david. coming up also, john mccain calling rand paul and other tea party republicans wacko birds. is the gop coming apart at the scene? i'll speak about that and much more with newt gingrich. >> well, i'm really disappointed in john mccain and i'm very saddened by it.
across the country. what are you finding out? >> wolf, this week more than 170 airports across the country are getting letters. they warn the faa may close their air traffic control towers next month. they have until wednesday to make an argument to keep them open. camp david sits off in the distance. air force one has landed here. the airport is arguing, in part, that its location near the presidential retreat justifies keeping its control tower open. >> when we have the president or v.i.p. that would happen to come in to the airport, they definitely would use the services of the air kreaf control tower. >> the faa is deciding which towers could keep open and saying negative impact on national interest is the only
criterion the faa will use. the faa is unable to consider local community impact. the control towers at 238 small to medium-sized airports on the potential chopping block. nearly every state in the country faces control tower shutdowns in one or more airports. describe to me what next month will look like. >> it's unchartered territory. over the past couple of decades, the faa has closed only a handful of towers and literally overnight on april 7th you're looking at more than 170 facilities closing down. the scope and breadth of that is unprecedented. >> closing towers will hurt local community interests. >> it punctures the lungs. it knocks the air out of your economic engine. >> officials say closing the tower could hurt nascar operations. >> over 60% of our business is
nascar and they fly all over the united states. >> the individual airports can submit their reasons to the faa by e-mail, fax, or even a phone call. the faa will announce the finalized list of closures on march 20th but, wolf, until then, it's really just wait and see. >> we will then wait and see. tori, thank you. an alarming new study of something that has never happened before. how it could impact the entire planet. we have details. plus, john mccain calls some fellow republicans on the hill wacko birds. now newt gingrich is firing back. you're going to want to hear what he has to say. >> i don't know what has happened to john mccain but i find this very sad. nurses are dealing with a wider range of issues. and there are ever-changing regulations. when you see these challenges, do you want to back away or take charge? with a degree in the field of healthcare or nursing from capella university,
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a powerful storm that slammed the midwest and mid-atlantic a couple days ago is now wreaking havoc in massachusetts. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other stories. what's the latest? >> the forecast was expected to dump as much as two feet and it's packing heavy winds and coastal flooding. one of our affiliates says it will rival the infamous blizzard. one home along the eastern coast collapsed a roof. no one was living inside the homes at the time. and cardinals in rome are voting today to begin the conclave for secret election on tuesday. the whole process will take place inside the chapel which is closed to tourists and the chimney used to send smoke signals could be raised above the chapel quite soon. and the earth's climate has
shifted from one of the coldest in decades to one of the hottest due to a heat speak that has never happened before. if manmade emissions continue as predicted, the early will be warmer than it's ever been by the year 2100. and leaders from around the world gathered in caracas today for the funeral of hugo chavez. among those attending, powerful u.s. adversaries, including iranian president ahmadinejad who at one point kissed the coffin. the united states who doesn't have an ambassador, and the body will be em balmed and laid to rest at a military museum. if you are looking for a way to get your morning caffeine fix, next month wrigley will be selling a caffeinated gum with the equivalent of half a cup of coffee. the gum will sell for $2.99.
that's a little pricier than most gums but it's cheaper than an energy drink or starbucks coffee. so would you try that? >> i would try it. >> one stick is equivalent to half a cup of coffee. >> i used to like to chew gum. now i don't. >> one, then the other -- >> i like the actual coffee. >> something about having a nice, warm beverage. that sounds pretty good. >> thank you. john mccain calls a fellow republican senator a wacko bird. up next, is this the latest war of words a sign of something more serious going on inside the gop? plus, newt beginning rich will weigh in on the possible use of drones in the united states. >> if our constitution means anything, it means that your government can't ka preesh shously kill you without the rule of law. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work.
specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. rand paul's filibuster has sent sparks flying within the republican party. some of the gop's old guard are accusing the tea party of grand standing but is he setting the stage for a presidential run? let's bring in our chief congressional correspondent dana bash. what's the answer? >> the answer is yes. i've talked to a source familiar with his plans and political movements. he already has plans in the not so distance future to visit
south carolina and likely new hampshire and iowa. they are signs that rand paul is heavily engaged in a run for the white house. he got a lot of help from the surprisingly successful and high-profile filibuster. >> i will speak until i can no longer speak. >> rand paul's 13-hour talk fest ignited a war of words with his colleagues. >> if mr. paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do something other than stunts that fire up libertarian kids in their dorms. >> what he told "the huffington post" was all mccain. it's always the wacko birds on the right and left that get the media megaphone. paul responded on conservative radio calling mccain a war hero. >> you know, i treat senator mccain with respect. i don't think i always get the same in return. >> the back and forth
illustrates several growing scisms inside the gop. but it was paul's push for answers on drones that took off on twitter. more than 580,000 tweets with the hash tag stand with rand. >> kentucky is not aware of the twitter verse that has been exploding. >> and anyone watching c-span late into the night saw republicans with ambitions for higher office raised to help paul's filibuster. >> i'm happy that we're still here working hard on this issue. >> someone finally ending the system to aid, not eserp our rights. >> even saying this to hillary clinton earlier this year. >> had i been president at the time and i found that you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stevens, i would have relieved you of your post. >> cnn was given plans in the works for a possible 2016 run. a source familiar with paul's
activities tells cnn he is building an informal finance committee, ee massing an e-mail list of 10 million and counting conservative activists call him a formidable candidate for 2016. >> we haven't seen much in the republican party, a new generation of leaders willing to take a principled stand, stand up to the obama administration and actually prevail and not take any flack for it. >> his father ran for president twice. a source familiar with rand paul's plans tells me that he differs from his father in a key way. wolf, that is that rand paul is much more conscious and cares more about his political message and what he's saying and the political structure that he's working in. he says that if he does run for
the white house, it will be. >> as a result of the old-school filibuster, he's getting praise from not only fellow tea party activists but from the left as well. some calling him a hero. >> they are. i was talking to a senior democratic leadership aide who said they were watching in their offices and saying way to go. he's standing up for civil liberties. you don't hear democratic aides saying way to go about republicans making political moves very often. >> dana, thanks very much. and joining us now, the former house speaker, the former republican candidate newt gingrich, this is a real battle and on the other side one congressman from michigan said
wacko birds, bravo, senator and so who are you with? the mccains or the rand pauls? >> well, i'm really disappointed in john mccain. and i'm very saddened by it. mccain in his younger years was a great maverick. he took on his party all the time. the idea that he's lecturing the next generation because they have the guts to stand up, which i would have thought john mccain would have applauded the news, and say, i may not agree with you in detail, but i'm proud that you're standing up with your beliefs. i don't know what's happening to john mccain but i find it very sad. >> on the substance of the issue whether or not the obama administration needed to spell out the use of drones against u.s. citizens on u.s. soil, who is right? >> if our constitution means anything, it means that your
government can't capriciously kill you without the rule of law. and it was very clear from the attorney generals earlier in letters that they were reserving the right -- remember, we're not talking about combatant engaged in fighting. the minute you do that -- >> but it's okay to kill american citizens in yemen -- >> who are combatants. >> like anwar al awlaki? you don't have a problem with that. >> look, if you say, there's an american walking on the street, he intends to set off or she intends to set off in the next 12 minutes, you don't have to go to court. they can say kill them. that is direct act of combat. we have a guy over here that may be plotting and may sort of think about he could eventually be serious because they have stretched this a long way. and they will be able to kill people openly engaged. i am very -- i'm a real conservative in the sense that i don't want the government to have the ability to take away
your life and frankly senator mccain seems to think it was outrageous to suggest this. does he know nothing of history? >> if anwar al awlaki was spotted in new mexico, i think that's where he was born, you heard he was located at a certain location and that's obviously a very hypothetical scenario -- >> right. if he was actively planning the killing of americans and you knew that. in al awlaki's case, he was saying all the time, go kill americans. >> from yemen. >> from yemen. >> but he set himself up -- let me give you a specific example. the major who killed people at ft. hood, had he been killed in the act of that exchange of fire, would have been perfectly legitimate defense for the united states. had somebody known as he walked in he was going to do it, they could have stopped it even with the use of force because somebody who walks in with an armed weapon who you have reason to believe that he's going to
kill someone. but let's say he had a meeting and said, some day we should do something. well, you arrest him for that and try him. you don't just kill him. >> what do you make of the split that appears to be emerging among republicans on this very sensiti sensitive issue? >> i think there's a deeper issue which is tone. so many republicans are nice going to nice restaurants in georgetown that the tone bothers them. i saw nothing that rand paul did that was inappropriate. it's exactly why they extend the right to talk forever. i'm from the house. we used to get one minute. >> right. >> but the senate has a very different tradition of individuals standing up. so i thought rand paul was behaving in the best tradition of the u.s. senate and i thought for a guy like mccain, who had always been a maverick, who had reveled in opposing his party's establishment, to now be the sort of senior lecturer on
behalf of how you should behave, i just thought it was a very sad moment. >> what do you think of the president's new charm offensive, inviting a dozen republican senators to dinner at the jefferson hotel, inviting paul ryan the next day for lunch at the white house, he's going to meet with the republican caucus next week on the hill. bill clinton was president and you were speaker. he was always trying to charm you and he often succeeded, right? >> look, i think presidents have enormous assets if they want to use them. i'll be more interested if i see obama actually do something that was rational and moderate. you know, very simple test. reopen the white house tours for children. the president will use up more secret service time guarding him while he golfs than it would take to keep the white house tours open all year. this is nonsense. this is punishing the american people. the president i think has to decide he actually -- entitlement reform and willing to take on the left wing of his party.
we have no evidence of that. their polling showed the same thing that gallup and others showed, which was he was hurt by this fundamentally dishonest campaign about what would happen with the sequester. >> is it going to lead to anything over the next few months between now and the end of july when the debt ceiling has to be raised once again? >> it's up to barack obama. >> well, he says he wants a balanced approach. >> not going to get a balanced approach. >> entitlement reforms, medicare, social security. but he also wants to deal with tax reforms. not necessarily raising tax rates but eliminating loopholes, deductions. >> if you eliminate loopholes without cutting rates, you then in effect have a tax increase. >> that's what he wants. tax revenues. >> what republicans ought to say, we're for a balanced approach. part a was the tax increase you already passed. >> in order to avoid the fiscal cliff? >> yeah. so let's take that as the first half of the deal and now we want the spending half of the deal. >> it looks like there's not going to be a deal if those are the two positions. >> i think in some way this city
is now so mindlessly avoiding creativity that it is mildly astonishing. i think we have no major problem we couldn't solve if we were willing to apply commonsense. >> one final question. you used to be a fox news analyst. roger ailes in this new book that was written about him, he quotes some nasty things about you. you've seen those quotes, i'm sure. what do you think about that? you worked for him for a long time. >> by the way, "forbes" magazine came out and said my criticism was right. i thought they were very unfair in how they covered me during the campaign which is great irony to me. >> why do you think, from perspective, they were unfair to you? you were part of their team for a while? >> i have no idea but i seemed to make them unhappy. roger is a big boy.
i've been around a long time. i've had lots of people say different things about me. >> you haven't talked to him since those quotes came out? >> i talked to him a few days. >> mr. speaker, thanks for being with me. >> good to be with you. it's never too early to start thinking about 2016 if you're a political news junkie like i am. some of the top possible presidential contenders in a new fantasy matchup poll. that's next. this day calls you. to fight chronic osteoarthritis pain.
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surprised about the rift within the gop, john mccain and rand paul really going at it? >> not surprised. i'm encouraged. we've been stuck in the past, wolf, and we've lost a lot of elections. we're like the carnival cruise hip? the caribbean and we're not going anywhere. you've seen republicans emerge and that's healthy for the party. a lot of republicans are concerned that barack obama has expanded the use of drones so much from what president bush did. and that, in effect, is an excuse for hollowing out or military and of course a lot of people are happy to see it because they think it shrinks the deficit and reduces the defense department. there's a lot of conflict but overall i think it's a sign of vitality in our party. >> a sign of health, he says. it's interesting that rand paul, clear that he's going to run for the republican nomination in 2016, he's getting praised not only from the tea party but
yesterday van jones was here saying that he's a hero to a lot of liberals. >> you know, a year ago questions were raised about the drone program and whether or not we had the right procedures in place. the aclu has raised questions. "the nation" magazine. rand paul is not the first american to get out there and speak up. he is the first american, perhaps, to talk about it for 13 straight hours. >> it's surprising that there were so few democrats who have been on the front lines with civil rights in so many respects and should be praised for that. they didn't show up on this one. >> ron wyden was here yesterday, the senator from oregon. he helped rand paul in this. >> just to be clear, liberals, democrats, republicans, they have also spoken out. >> they don't like drone strikes on u.s. soils killing american citizens either. the president and attorney general clarifying that saying that's not going to happen. let's talk about these polls.
we're political news junkies and we love polls and hypothetical races. i don't know if it's too early to talk about this. hillary clinton, chris christie, look at this. hillary clinton, 45%. chris christie, 37%. hillary clinton against marco rubio, she beats him a little bit more. 34%. how does joe biden do against chris christie? not so great. joe biden, 40%. against marco rubio, he does better. 45% biden, marco rubio, 38%. these are all very, very early. i don't know if they mean anything going down the road but it gives us a flavor of what is going on. >> look. she is one of the most popular politicians in this country and today is international women's day so i have to put in a plug for that. hillary clinton by far is the most serious candidate and of course joe biden would disagree with me and i believe he's another tested politician. i'm not surprised at the numbers
right now. >> the problem is those numbers for republicans and democrats, it took us so long, for chris christie, what is his strength is also his weakness. he's the bulldog on your front lawn. you want him out there guarding your house but you're not sure you want him inside the house and that's the test of a president, to see someone that you can see close to that red button. for hillary and for biden, their numbers should be better than that. we've moved forward a generation. the democratic party certainly has. barack obama. he's not an industrial-aged president. he's a communications-aged president. now you're seeing republicans move in that direction. but hillary and biden, they are candidates of the past and it's doubtful the democratic party or the country will move back to them. >> most americans know hillary and joe biden. they don't know chris christie that much. >> hillary's numbers should be better. >> i think her numbers are really strong but if she decides to run, i guarantee you they
will go up. >> guys, we've got to go right there on that so much to both for coming in. have an excellent weekend. >> we'll be together this weekend, sunday morning. coming up, a bizarre new video coming from inside north korea. you're going to find out what has these troops seemingly hysterical. and it's not dennis rodman. why not make lunch more than just lunch? with two times the points on dining in restaurants, you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. there's more to enjoy. to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes,
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>> reporter: for north korean television viewers, there was little doubt of these soldiers' excitement for their mission and enthusiasm for their leader kim jong-un. the news reader says, we admire the great leader who shows so much love to us and the officers and soldiers stationed at our border. it's the sort of propaganda video that north korean viewers are familiar with but for the rest of the world, it's a surreal scene. here's how it unfolded on north korean television as monitored in beijing. the north korean leader arrives at a yellow sea island garcon within clear site of south korea. >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: the news reader says the great leader is unshaken by the strength of the enemy and is not at all nervous to appear so close to the border. soldiers and their families, the anchor says, are overjoyed to see kim. they renew their vows to fight
against their sworn enemy, the united states. even if it comes to hand-to-hand combat. as it shows kim jong-un inspecting the island's defenses, the report says the timing of this inspection is crucial, suggesting an imminent attack. that's a message north koreans are frequently bombarded with yet however improbable and outside an attack, north korea is changing relations with china after tough new u.n. sanctions. he was taken to the islands close to the south korean island of yeonpyong. no explanation was given for the attack which at the time some feared was the start of an invasion. back to kim jong-un's tour, the soldiers, some with their wives clutching babies, wade out in the icy waters to say good-bye. the feels of admiration are
apparently mutual, even though we don't know how much of this was staged. >> it's a really, really tense situation on the korean peninsula right now, north and south korea. and let's not forget, nearly 30,000 american troops along the demilitarized zone separating these two countries. coming up, does north korea's leader have a new way to carry out threats against the united states? barbara starr has been reporting on this. she's got a closer look at the new arsenal. also ahead in our next hour, unemployment hits its lowest rate since barack obama took office. but will it help him in the days and weeks ahead? and an udz cover tsa inspector reportly hides a fake bomb down his pants at a major united states airport. we'll tell you what happened next. what's this? uhh, it's my geico insurance id card, sir. it's digital, uh, pretty cool right?
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happening now, 9/11 justice, a fiery debate about the decision to try osama bin laden's son-in-law in new york city. catholic cardinals set the date. we'll lift the veil on their secret vote for the next pope. airport security shocker. how did someone reportedly get past screeners with a fake bomb in his pants? air force brass under fire, the outrage after a lieutenant colonel convicted of sexual assault walks free. and you may not know his name. but he's one of the biggest music stars in the world. i'm wolf blitzer along with kate bolduan. you're in "the situation room."
we begin this hour with a surprise boost for the jobs market and for the white house. the jobless rate falling lower than it's been since barack obama took office. down to 7.7% in february. the u.s. economy adding 236,000 jobs last month. that's almost double the new hires in january and a bigger jump than expected. the numbers gave more fuel to the rally on wall street. the dow jones industrials closing in on an all-time high for the fourth day in a row. let's bring in our national political correspondent jim acosta over at the white house. what is the white house's reaction to all of this? >> reporter: after the positive job numbers came out, officials here at the white house certainly have a spring in their step but are well aware of the obstacles that lie ahead that could trip up this recovery. after the latest jobs report found the nation's unemployment
rate had dipped to levels not seen since before president obama took office, the white house wanted to know one thing -- where were all the questions about the good news? >> i suspected if the jobs numbers were worse, i would have gotten questions about that. >> reporter: but this does not account for the cuts that have already taken place. and president obama's latest outreach to republicans is all the more important, a charm offensive that just so happened to coincide with a secret dinner the first couple had with bill and hillary clinton. did former president clinton mention that as his advice to the current president, that perhaps an outreach might be a good thing? >> in terms of the president's bipartisan outreach to members of the congress, that's
something that started before that dinner. >> reporter: one top republican urged the president to keep it up. >> this is a change that i think we should encourage, whether it's motivated for all sorts of reasons that we don't understand or not. >> reporter: but more budget drama could be on the horizon. republican senator marco rubio told a conservative radio host he may not sign onto the latest temporary spending bill aimed at keeping the government running. >> about a year and a half ago, i voted for the first continuing resolution and then i announced this is the last continuing resolution, the last stopgap measure that i'm going to vote for. i will only vote from here on on something serious. and so far we haven't seen that. >> reporter: asked whether that means rubio might filibuster the bill, a spokesman told cnn, we're reviewing our legislative options. back at the white house where officials say the automatic cuts are forcing them to cancel all public tours starting this weekend, visitors are losing their patience. >> i just think it's unfair because it's supposed to be government for the people. by taking away the tours, they're not letting the people see the government. >> reporter: the white house is
conducting some of its business in secret these days, holding meetings on subjects ranging from israel to energy policy that officials here won't talk about until well after they've occurred. the obama administration is evolving in this second term but it is doing so cautiously and quietly. wolf and kate? >> i take it the president is still planning on going to irdz around march 20th even though no new israeli government has been formed. do they assume there will be a government by then? >> reporter: they've been asked about this all week and they say no matter what is going on in israel, they're going. >> we'll see what happens. jim, thanks very much. kate is here. amazing story what's going on in new york right now. only blocks away from the world trade center from the 9/11 disaster, bin laden's son-in-law is all of a sudden showing up. >> it's an amazing story and something we've followed closely. he appeared in a courtroom today and pleaded not guilty to charges that he plotted to kill americans. he made ominous threats on behalf of al qaeda in the days
after 9/11. listen. >> translator: we advise them not to fly in planes or live in high towers. the storm of planes will not stop. there are thousands of young muslims who are desire martyrdom in the path of allah. for more, susan candiotti is in new york. >> reporter: kate, his video messages spewing hatred and dire warnings to americans after 9/11 have finally brought suleiman abu ghaith to an american courtroom. he entered the courtroom looking and acting much differently than the al qaeda spokesman so often seen next to his father-in-law, osama bin laden. in new york federal court, he looked older, balding, his dark beard now gray. gone was the fiery rhetoric. he quietly said yes when asked whether he understand the charges and left it to his
lawyer to enter his plea, not guilty. but behind the seens, abu ghaith is talking to investigators. prosecutors dropping a bombshell, revealing he made a 22-page statement after his arrest, possibly powerful evidence. >> prosecutors always want statements from a defendant. so the fact that he gave such an extensive one has the potential to be extremely incriminating at a trial. >> reporter: what did he tell investigators? they aren't saying. he was arrested overseas february 28th and flown to the u.s. from jordan march 1st, a full week before his arraignment. abu ghaith has mostly been under house arrest in iran since 2002 and experts say likely not actively involved in al qaeda operations. bin laden himself bragged on tape the 9/11 plans were so secretive, abu ghaith didn't even know about them. >> he points to abu ghaith, his spokesman, and says, we didn't clue him up.
surely a defense lawyer will be using that in the future case. >> reporter: despite ongoing criticism from republicans that abu ghaith should be treated as an enemy combatant and tried before a military tribunal in guantanamo, the administration stands by its decision. >> this is somebody who's going to be held accountable for his crimes and that will be done in accordance with the laws and values of this country. >> reporter: some 9/11 families say they're glad someone so prominent in al qaeda is being prosecuted. >> let's get these trials going to new york city, all the people who were affected that day can go see the trials and that's where they should be, in new york city. >> reporter: and that's where abu ghaith's trial is. we're about a mile away from ground zero where jim rich's son and thousands of others lost their lives. kate? >> susan candiotti in new york, thank you so much. a little later on this hour, we're going to be continuing this discussion on whether abu ghaith should have been sent to guantanamo bay rather than new york city.
we'll have a debate from both sides of the argument ahead. >> it's a serious debate. meanwhile, chuck hagel took his first overseas trip today as the defense secretary to afghanistan. he is thanking troops for their service and also meeting with the afghan president hamid karzai. hagel says he wants to better understand what's going on in america's longest war. it's now in its 11th year. hagel also says the u.s. will remain committed to afghanistan as american troops are pulled out. leaders from around the world gathered in caracas today for the funeral of the venezuelan president, hugo chavez. among those attending, some powerful u.s. adversaries, including the iranian president, muhammad ahmadinejad who at one point kissed the coffin. the u.s. was represented by the embassy's and a delegation. chavez's body will be embalmed and laid to rest at a military
museum. we could see white smoke rising from the vatican as early as tuesday when catholic cardinals begin their secret election to choose the next pope. the date was set just today. cnn's senior international correspondent ben wedeman takes us behind the scenes from rome. >> reporter: when the cardinals gather inside the sistine chapel next week to select the pope, they'll be sworn to secrecy. the chapel swept for listening devices, electronic countermeasures deployed to prevent the use of any electronic communication. but as the cardinals gathered in rome this week before being cut off from the outside world, word is already leaking about a possible rift between the cardinals from north and south america and cardinals from other countries over timing of the conclave. those from the americas wanted to air some issues before the conclave. the others wanted to just get on with it. >> there's this kind of
guerrilla insurrection going on. they are progressive in terms of business magnificent, that really want to shake things up around this place. i think part of the drama of this conclave is going to be which one of those currents prevails. >> reporter: all that according to the few church officials who are talking but asking not to be named. come tuesday, the conclave will begin with a special mass in the morning and a first vote in the afternoon inside the sistine chapel where work crews have been busy preparing the building for its historic role. the cardinals movement will be closely restricted to the chapel and their nearby living quarters inside this vatican residence. the rooms all without televisions, radios, phones or internet assigned by lottery. once voting gets under way, the cardinals will cast ballots in order of seniority and they're not allowed to vote for themselves. they'll keep voting up to four ballots a day until the two-thirds majority needed to declare a winner is reached.
each ballot is threaded on a length of string to prevent fraud. after each vote, the ballots are burned, sending up the now famous smoke signals. black for no winner. white for a new pope. the big question, how long before the white smoke? >> they know if this conclave goes more than three or four days, the drumbeat in the media will be crisis and paralysis in the vatican. on the other hand, right now, they don't have a clear front-runner. so they've got about four days to get their act together so this does not become a gridlocked conclave. >> reporter: whenever it comes, a crowd will be eagerly awaiting just like they did eight years ago to celebrate a new pontiff to sit on the throne of st. peter. ben wedeman, cnn, rome. >> ben, thank you. the last two popes, benedict and john paul ii were elected in just two days. the conclave for john paul i was
just one day. a busy airport fails a major test of its security reportedly letting a man get through screening with a fake bomb, yes, a bomb, in his pants. capella university understands rough economic times have led to an increase in clinical depression. drug and alcohol abuse is up. and those dealing with grief don't have access to the professional help they need. when you see these issues, do you want to walk away or step up? with a degree in the field of counseling or psychology from
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look at this. look how beautiful the nation's capital is right now. capitol hill, the sun going down. don't you just love that, kate? >> it's absolutely beautiful. another beautiful day in washington. other news we're following, a report of a starkly new security lapse at a very popular east coast airport. >> an undercover agent reportedly got past tsa screeners with a fake bomb stuffed in his pants. let's go to cnn's mary snow in new york for more on this. what is going on here? >> reporter: it's at newark international airport that's in question and it's coming under scrutiny after a report of a security lapse last month. the test at newark airport was to see if a fake improvised
explosive device would get past screeners. it did. there was a mock ied in the inspector's pants. the tsa said in a statement, due to the security-sensitive nature of the tests, tsa does not publicly share details about how they are conducted, what specifically is tested or the outcomes. the tsa says it regularly conducts covert testing and this is what it looks like. >> slip the inert detonator in and get this thing positioned. >> reporter: cnn went along with undercover tsa inspectors called red teams in 2008. the inspector had a fake ied on him when he went through security at tampa international airport. a screener failed to detect the device and the undercover inspector then instructed him on what he did wrong. >> you have to get my shirt up and inspect it. that's what i want you to do
now. >> reporter: just how many screeners fail to detect devices in these drills is unclear. but one aviation security analyst says some failures are to be expected. >> there are a lot of very important lessons to be learned in order to improve the program and to increase the level of alert and the professionalism of the people that implement it. >> reporter: just this week, the head of the tsa said protecting against ieds are the top priority. >> the greatest risk is non-metallic ieds, whether explosive, whether electronic initiator or a chemical initiator, whatever it may be, that's what i want our security officers to focus on. >> reporter: while the tsa wouldn't specifically address newark airport, the airport has had problems in recent years. there was a man who became known as romeo who slipped past security to greet a woman. last year, roughly two dozen baggage and travel screeners were fired for security lapses
and thefts. kip holley says it's unclear why newark continues to make headlines. >> i don't know why they should have a lot of problems at newark, which is probably why they keep testing it. >> reporter: the issues at newark airport have prompted a call for an extensive security review. new york congressman peter king, the former chairman of the house committee on homeland security, wrote to the hid of the tsa ask for a top-to-bottom look at newark's tsa operations and a plan to fix them. kate? >> sure would hope so if this report turns out to be accurate. mary snow, thanks so much. a u.s. senator says she's outraged that the united states air force let a senior military leader go free after he was convicted of sexual assault. we have the details. rtle. ♪ my friends are all around me ♪ my friends, they do surround me ♪ ♪ i hope this never ends
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the cia has a new boss. finally. kate has that and the day's other top stories. >> a bit of a haul trying to get him into that position by the administration. john brennan was sworn in as the new cia director by vice president joe biden. instead of taking the oath on a bible, he asked to put his hand on an early draft of the constitution, loaned out by the national archives. brennan was confirmed yesterday after a filibuster by senator rand paul delayed the vote. also, a march blizzard has dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of new england. it's also brought high winds and 23-foot waves that tore this house you're seeing right there right off its foundation on massachusetts. from new england to new york, the snow is expected to turn to rain as temperatures continue to
rise through the day before finally clearing out by tomorrow. and another cruise nightmare, unfortunately. a royal caribbean ship returned to port today after an 11-day cruise in which more than 100 aboard became sick with a virus. they worked to clean up the ship ahead of its next voyage, due to begin about two hours ago. and take a look at this one. michael phelps may have won many a gold medal but he looks like a bit of a duck out of water on the golf course. we're seeing video for the first time of a golf trip to scotland. after complaining of cold weather and too many hours on the course, phelps does what? he just hurls his club. frustrated, maybe. i will tell you this, maybe he should just stick with the swimming. >> great swimmer. >>'s a great swimmer. i'm great at many things.
>> how about golf? >> i am horrible at golf. >> i don't play golf. someday when i get older i'll take it up. >> your career part two. >> one of these days. coming up here in "the situation room," osama bin laden's son-in-law just blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks. up next, should accused conspirators like abu ghaith be tried in the united states? you'll hear both sides of the issue. lobster tacos. the bar harbor bake is really worth trying. [ male announcer ] get more during red lobster's lobsterfest. with the year's largest selection of mouth-watering lobster entrees. like our delicious lobster lover's dream, featuring two kinds of lobster tails. or our savory, new grilled maine lobster and lobster tacos. my favorite entree is the lobster lover's dream. what's yours? come celebrate lobsterfest and sea food differently. [ male announcer ] visit redlobster.com now for an exclusive $10 coupon on two lobsterfest entrees.
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a dramatic turn in the war on terrorism. osama bin laden's son-in-law appeared in a federal court in new york today, very close to where al qaeda brought down the world trade center towers on 9/11. >> suleiman abu ghaith, an al qaeda spokesman, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, plotting to kill americans and others. he was captured abroad recently and the decision to take him to new york instead of the u.s. military facility at guantanamo bay in cuba is raising fresh controversy. joining us now, two guests, v victoria tunsing and a harvard law professor. why is new york a better place to try him than guantanamo bay? >> our constitution sets out a procedure for trying criminals. this is the procedure. he dets trial by jury, he gets a lawyer. he is a combatant.
he's also a criminal. he's a terrorist. he's an unlawful combatant. the executive has the power to choose whether to treat him as a combatant and put him in front of a military tribunal or simply detain him until the war is over, whatever that would mean in the context of war against terrorism. but he's a criminal who conspired to till americans. they have the option of giving him our full due process rights, putting him on trial, let the public visibly and transparently see how we treat people who attack america. let him either be convicted or acquitted. that's the way our justice system operates. we should be proud of it. >> victoria, you disagree? >> absolutely. this is a political decision. to try him in a federal courtroom in new york is disconsistent with this administration's erroneous message that because osama bin laden is dead, the war on terror is over, let's all be happy and go back to the regular order. there is a problem when you're trying to get out an erroneous
message. that is that you have to do falsehoods, in this case, it's naivety to think you can try a combatant or a terrorist in a federal courtroom. a couple of reasons for that. number one, the legal landscape has changed since world war ii and 90 years ago when fdr kind of tried it but wrote his own rules for commission. and the rules that have changed are in the defendant's protection. there are many more protections for a criminal defendant. but they were written for bank robbers and fraudsters, not written for enemy combatants. number two, we have charged him with wanting to kill americans. he's a jihadist. anyone who wants to kill americans also wants to undo our system and he will put our criminal trial system -- he will abuse it, he will put it into legal pretzels before it is
over. just like moussaoui did, to give you an example -- >> allen, jump in and respond. >> of course the legal landscape has changed. but our constitution is the most enduring constitution in the history of humankind and it was written for all times and written in flexible language and we have the flexibility to take into account the war against terrorism. we have put many terrorists on trial with a conviction rate close to 100%. we have only put a few people in front of guantanamo. guantanamo represents the worst face of america to the world -- >> the intelligence of this trial -- >> the victims. things have changed. this guy was out of the main loop for ten years and he probably, according to intelligence experts, is not a source of ongoing realtime intelligence. it's time to get back to the
constitutional system which has served us well during civil war, during the first world war -- >> we've heard some concerns before. one of them i want to ask you both about. alan, i'll ask you first. what about the security concern, simply of having a civil trial, having this happen in a civilian court in new york. you know that there are always national security concerns when a high-profile name, someone who's being linke to terrorism is going to be in new york city. >> we can't let people like this hold the city of new york hostage. we have to show the world that we can try them. we're not afraid of them. we can protect our security. by the way, many of the same people who opposed the earlier trial in new york because it was too close to the time of 9/11 now are saying this is the right time. the mayor is saying, we have no problem. many of the victims' families are saying, we want to look this guy in the eye. we want to have a jury of our peers judge him. so times have changed.
and this is the wrong time to compromise with our constitution -- >> hold on, victoria. i want you to respond to what alan just said. but i also want to put up on the screen three terrorists who were all convicted in new york city, not in guantanamo bay. one of the alleged masterminds of the 1993 world trade center bombing, abdel rahman, aafia siddiqui were all tried in new york and they were all convicted. they're serving long sentences right now. >> maybe you didn't hear me. that's not the only aspect of the trial although the acquittal of this person is another issue. but in the blind sheikh's trial, you can ask all the people who participateded in that, including the judge, they had to put out evidence in the view that osama bin laden then used to cover his tracks in the next
decade. >> go ahead and respond to that, alan. >> i'd like to talk about the -- >> it was information that endangered our national security, number one. >> alan, are you denying what happened in the blind sheikh's trial, that andy mccarthy who tried it talks about it to this day, that he had to give all kinds of information -- you can't deny that. >> this is a weak case. i've read the indictment. >> why is it a weak case? explain that. why is this a weak case? he's on videotape on the day of 9/11, the day after 9/11, a month after 9/11 making all sorts of threats against the united states. >> absolutely. and the keyword is "after." that is, to the extent that they're indicting him for being a co exxon spir tor in 9/11, what they say is he recruited people to join al qaeda. they quickly jump in the indictment to hours after 9/11 where he says and we're going to
do it again. they have to demonstrate that he knew about it, that he conspired with somebody, that he agreed with somebody, that he was part of the planning. that's not going to be an easy case. this case reads like a mafia indictment. and the head of the fbi in new york says he's more like a con sig lor -- >> that brings me to the policy issue. if he gets acquitted, what next? >> i can tell you what happens next. >> victoria, let me ask you this about that -- >> he becomes a combatant. he's then held and detained. there's no double jeopardy problem. if he's acquitted of this crime, he can be detained. he's not going to walk free. >> then he goes to gitmo where he should have been in the first place, getting intelligence information from him rather than
to lawyer him up so that he now shuts up for the next three or four years. >> victoria, do you think it changes the calculus that from what we know about abu ghaith that he was a spokesman for al qaeda but all the evidence that anyone has seen so far is that he hasn't been operational in the organization? does that change the calculus of a military tribunal versus a civilian trial? >> i don't think he could get a military tribunal. i don't think conspiracy to kill americans is tribal in a military tribunal. >> what would you do? >> put him in gitmo. >> hold him there without any semblance of due process? >> no. you have a process that goes through a much lower standard to hold him -- >> one question. if you were in the justice department and they asked you whether they should have killed him with a drone instead of arresting him, would you have said yes? >> i'd like another option. i'd like him to go to gitmo. the drone thing ruins the intelligence that we need to continue this fight on terrorism. but this administration is
pretending there's no gitmo and there's no war. >> if we have no option to capture him, the drone may be the only approach. i think we can satisfy our constitution and have the world see that we are the gratest legal system of the world and we're not afraid of terrorism. >> let's see what happens. a good, serious, strong debate. victoria, thanks very much. alan, thanks to you as well. i'm sure this debate will continue. they both make valid points. they know what they're saying. the u.s. has not sent a new terrorist to guantanamo bay since 2006. >> and even the statements that we're receiving from the heads of the intelligence committee in the senate and the house, they were making very similar arguments. people are very much -- very passionate on this issue. it is a very serious conversation. >> dianne fineinstein said they did the right thing. >> the next hearing is in april. we'll be following it closely.
ahead, it's the video that we could not stop watching all day today. hundreds of north korean soldiers and their families rushing toward the water, waving and screaming. find out what it's all about. working behind the scenes to provide companies with services... like helping hr departments manage benefits and pensions for over 11 million employees. reducing document costs by up to 30%... and processing $421 billion dollars in accounts payables each year. helping thousands of companies simplify how work gets done. how's that for an encore? with xerox, you're ready for real business. how's that for an encore? how do you keep an older car running like new? you ask a ford customer. when they tell you that you need your oil changed you got to bring it in. if your tires need to be rotated, you have to get that done as well. jackie, tell me why somebody should bring they're car here to the ford dealership for service instead of any one of those other places out there. they are going to take care of my car because this is where it came from. price is right no problem, they make you feel like you're a family.
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take a look at this. a very, very strange scene coming in from north korean tv. kim jong-un's troops running toward him in a frenzy during his visit to the front line with south korea. the regime stepping up its propaganda war and its nuclear threats this week. and now the united states is deeply concerned about a potentially dangerous weapon. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr.
she's been doing some reporting on this. what are you learning? >> reporter: we've all seen this very ominous rhetoric out of north korea before. but the question now is, what happens if and when the rhetoric turns to a real threat? almost hysterical north korean troops greeted their leader, kim jong-un, during his made-for-tv inspection tour of military border facilities. kim wants the world to see this as he has dramatically stepped up his dangerous rhetoric. he's even threatening a nuclear attack on the u.s. as he faces tough u.n. sanctions for his recent nuclear test. the obama administration isn't backing down. >> we're also going to continue to increase the pressure if they don't make the right choice. >> reporter: on his way to afghanistan, defense second quarter chuck hagel made clear how closely the u.s. is watching. >> the united states of america and our allies are prepared to
deal with any threat. >> reporter: cnn has learned the u.s. has recently stepped up surveillance using aircraft, radars and satellites already nearby. military officials say so far there are no signs of unusual military moves by the north. but there is a disturbing new weapons program, the kn-08. us officials say this missile shown in a north korean military parade last year is now undergoing engine testing. it's a three-stage ballistic missile with a potential 3,000-mile range. that's not as far as the rocket north korea launched which could hit alaska or hawaii. so why does the u.s. think it's so dangerous? the north koreans can drive the kn-08 around on a truck launcher. >> they would hide a bunch of these in an underground bunker in a garage and possibly under
cover of darkness, they would all leave the garage and start driving around at random and within a few hours, you could have a really hard time figuring out where they'd all gotten off to. >> reporter: u.s. surveillance once again is showing activity at a north korean missile launch site. vehicles, personnel and electronics leading to a lot of worry that the north koreans once again are getting ready for another missile test. wolf, kate? >> tense situation on the korean peninsula. barbara, thanks for that report. coming up, an air force colonel is convicted of sexual assault. so why did his boss set him free? it has one u.s. lawmaker furious. you decide for yourself. why turbo? trust us.
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an air force officer jailed after being convicted of sexual assault is now a free man. >> and the decision has sparked outrage. and now one prominent lawmaker is taking action. our brian todd is here. you've been really looking into this. this is a tough one. >> it is. there's one general who acted on his own to free this convicted officer. and now senator claire mccaskill is pressing the air force to consider relieving this general of his command. this has generated heated criticism of how the military handles difficult cases, especially those involving sexual assault. he'd been convicted of sexual assault, sentenced to a year in jail and dismissal from the air force. but in recent days with the stroke of a pen, air force lieutenant colonel james wilkerson, an f-16 fighter pilot, was freed from a navy brig after only four months, his conviction tossed out. the man who freed him? his commanding officer, lieutenant general craig franklin. senator claire mccaskill, a top
member of the armed services committee, is furious. >> now, my heart is beating fast right now i'm so upset about this. as we are trying to send a signal to women. now, the victim in this case wasn't a member of our military. i question now whether that unit that that man returns to where there's any chance a woman who is sexually assaulting in that unit would ever say a word. >> reporter: mccaskill is asking the air force to consider removing general franklin from his post. but the case is murky. in the incident almost a year ago outside aviano air base in italy, there was an impromptu gathering at wilkerson's home after a night of drinking. the charging document says wilkerson was fondling a woman there while she slept. but air force officials say wilkerson and his wife contend that he never left his own bed that night and that his wife got the woman to leave. one air force official says the commander, general franklin, reviewed documents after the
trial that the jury never got t letter from the alleged victim. we pressed air force officials but we don't know what the letter says. lisa winser, a former army j.a.g. officer who's prosecuted and defended several sexual assault cases in the military, says the commander of any base has the authority to toss out a conviction on their own, but -- >> i've never seen that happen before. >> reporter: the military justice system is fair, she says, except in some cases with punishments. >> what is the problem with consistency in punishment in the military? >> i think you see with this case and other cases that have come downrecently, that officers tend to get a more favorable disposition than enlisted personnel. >> reporter: when i asked an air force official about that, he said he couldn't respond. he said that's not relevant in this case. we tried but we were not able to get either the convicted officer, lieutenant colonel wilkerson, or general craig
franklin, to go on camera with us. >> it does make you wonder if the general knew the officer personally, could that have played a part in his decision? >> it's a key question. we did ask that of the air force. an air force official told me general franklin does not know lieutenant wilkerson, never interacted with him professionally or personally, not on a social level at all. i get the sense whatever the general saw in the documents was key, especially the letter from the victim. we don't know what was in that letter she sent the general. i think that might have been the key to freeing this man. >> you can be sure clair mccaskill will be staying on top of it. down to an extraordinary moment in history. a short time ago the remains of two sailors found in the wreckage of a civil war battleship, the "uss monitor," were laid to rest at arlington national cemetery. this, 150 years after they died. the remains were discover inned 2002 hundreds of feet below the
water's surface but were never identified. the two men will represent all 16 who were lost when the ship went down. more than 30 living descendents of the crew attended the service. >> really beautiful. still ahead, he doesn't have a household name but more people have heard his tunes than those of katy perry, adele, and kelly clarkson combined. find out who he is. they're coming. yeah. british. later. sorry. ok...four words... scarecrow in the wind... a baboon... monkey? hot stew saturday!? ronny: hey jimmy, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? jimmy: happier than paul revere with a cell phone. ronny: why not? anncr: get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
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>> just hearing one of the biggest music stars in the world. thousands of adoring fans can't wait to see him on tour. decemb guess what you may not even know his name. he's huge, though. cnn's tom foreman caught up with him in baltimore. >> reporter: you may not know him by sight. you may not recognize his songs. ♪ but you are looking at a musical superstar. more people have heard chris tomlin's tunes than katy perry's, adele's, and kelly clarkson's combined. not bad for a mumble kid who grew up in texas just wanting to play guitar. at this moment, you are one of the most-successful songwriters on the planet. is that even comprehensible to you? >> no one's ever said that to me. >> but it's true. >> especially with a camera in my face. >> what do you think about that?
>> i don't think about that. that's not a motivator to me. ♪ nothing compares to when i hear people say, at my church, "this is a song we sing at my church." you know why? because i feel like at that point it's not attached to me anymore. >> reporter: that is the secret to tomlin's success. he writes worship music. wildly popular compositions sung in tens of thousands of churches each sunday by up to 60 million people. according to the company that measures music usage in churches. his following, which has slowly built over two decades, has brought everything any pop star might seek. top-quality videos, a fancy tour bus. how many miles do you think you've covered with your music? >> oh, gosh, a couple million for sure. >> reporter: clearly, millions of dollars though he won't say